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Jeanette Pavini Headshot

How to Fit Fitness Into What You Already Do Every Day

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We often start the day with the best intentions to get to the gym, go for a power walk, or make it to yoga class. Then life gets in the way. When we have to work late, fold piles of laundry and complete a mile-long list of errands, the workout is often the first to go. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to burn calories throughout your daily routine. We broke it down into three categories: exercises you can do at home, exercises you can do at work and exercises you can do when you're running errands around town. Calorie counts are based on a 150- to 160-pound person. If you weigh more, you'll burn more and if you weigh less, you'll burn less.

At Home:

Vacuum often. Ever break a sweat while vacuuming your house? That's because you're burning around 65 calories for every 15 minutes of mopping, sweeping or vacuuming. To intensify the upper body workout, consider wearing wrist weights.

Make it a deep clean every time. Vigorous cleaning (like really getting in there and scrubbing the bathroom till it shines) can burn 250 calories. Light cleaning like a quick dust burns around 160 calories per hour.

Shovel snow. Here is the silver lining to that reappearing pile of snow in your driveway. Shoveling snow burns more calories than just about any household chore, around 400 calories per hour. (Okay, so it's a little early in the season for this one, but save it for a snowy day!)

Tone your calves. When you're standing at the sink washing dishes or over the counter folding laundry, get your ballerina on. Lift your heels off the floor onto your tiptoes, hold for 10 seconds, and repeat.

Listen to music. Extra movements burn extra calories. Even fidgeting in your seat counts. So while you're doing housework, put on your headphones or bump some tunes. It will likely add a little extra pep to your step and thus burn more calories.

At Work:

Stand up. Many of us have a sedentary job and there's just not much we can do about it. When you can't leave your computer, options are limited. But simply standing up and working for an hour can make a difference. You'll burn about 35 extra calories an hour.

Be mindful of your posture. Sitting up straight and keeping your stomach in and core muscles tight can burn 10 extra calories an hour.

Desk push-ups. Stand a couple of feet away from your desk, anchor your hands on the edge of your desk (shoulder's width apart) and do about 20 standing push-ups.

Seated leg raises. Here's one you can do under your desk without anyone knowing! While sitting, extend your leg straight out at hip level, and hold it for as long as possible.

Lift weights while you phone. Keep free weights under your desk. When you have to take a call, put it on speaker or use a headset, and start lifting.

Around Town:

Take the stairs. Skip the elevator, say goodbye to the escalator, and climb those stairs. You'll burn 5 calories for every 12-step flight of stairs. That may not sound like much, but take the stairs 10 times a day and that's 350 extra calories burned per week.

Lift grocery weights. Don't waste those precious minutes in line at the grocery store. Pick up that can of tomato sauce or sack of sugar and do some bicep curls.

Load your cart. When you hit the aisles, pick up the heaviest items first like a case of water or laundry detergent. That way you're pushing that extra weight around the store as long as possible.

Skip the car wash. This is one errand you should skip all together. Washing your car works your arms and abs. And a half-hour can burn around 150 calories.

Bonus Tip: Laugh often. Getting giggly for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn up to 40 calories!

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